The Dress is White & Gold, you insane mutants

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Sunday, March 1st, 2015, 6:15pm
Categories: Mouth Diarrhea

Well hello there you dudes! It's been too long since I've posted a rant-blog, so here you go.

The god damn white and gold dress is white and god damn gold, not god damn blue and black, you god damn blue/black mutants.

And now for my theory....


First off, if you haven't heard, the internet is going insane over a photograph of a dress, that about half the population seems to think is "white with gold stripes", while the other half think its "blue with black stripes". It's basically come down to a question of how we perceive colors, when factors such as digital color temperature / flash / lighting, monitor calibration, viewing environment ambience, as well as the physical color receptors in our eyes, come into play. Here's the dress:

White Gold Black Blue Dress
-The debate rages on.
Image By: Swiked | Source

Now probably some of you are already saying "WTF!!! It's clearly [something], and everyone else is crazy or trolling!". I promise you, I am not trolling, and the dress is white/gold.

For clarity's sake, I will refer to the gold/black part of the dress as the "dark" part, and the "white/blue" part as the "light" part.

Photoshop Analysis

To start my case, here's a blog which performed a photoshop color analysis of the dress, where you can see not only the original photo, but detailed RGB color information for each area: There are two facts to keep in mind:

1. The "dark" part has an actual RGB value that corresponds to gold.
2. The "light" part has an actual RGB value that corresponds to very light blue.

So as it seems, right off the bat, the dress is both gold and blue, at the same time, so it's easy to see how so many people have been confused.

"White" and Color Temperature

As a dSLR hobbyist, I've had experience with how "white" reacts to various light sources. "White" isn't actually always pure white. Since light will reflect any color thrown at it, it tends to take on the tint of whatever light source is illuminating it. For instance, "white" will actually look blue-ish if illuminated by a "cold" light source (such as a flash, certain CFLs, etc), or more orange-ish if illuminated by a "warm" light source (such as the sun, tungsten lights, CTO treated flashes, etc).

Here's the first link I found just now by searching for color temperature on google:, if you'd like to get more familiar with how a scene can change, or how colors can be cast onto white cloth.

So now we've established that, based on light source, it's pretty easy to cast blue/orange onto a white piece of cloth. That makes the white/gold claim pretty plausible, if you consider a "cold" light source was used on the dress, which cast slight blue onto the white part of the white/gold dress.

Why it's confusing

It's pretty confusing because almost nobody has their monitors properly calibrated (spoiler: Mine is), or have their computers in brighter or dimmer rooms, which cause your brain to reinterpret the colors differently, under different circumstances.

Also - I believe the background area of the photo is illuminated by the sun (or at least tungsten lights), which might be making some people think the entire photo is illuminated by "warm" light, which causes us to interpret the "cool" color cast of the main light differently.

Can Black Become a Color?

But what about the blue/black claim? Remember that photoshop says the "dark" part is gold. Would we be able to cast a light onto a black piece of material, such that it appeared gold? For me that's pretty implausible, almost to the point of absurdity.

Have you ever shined a colored light onto a black shirt? I have. It stays black, lol. That's the point of black - it doesn't reflect any light back to you. Now sure, you're probably remembering times when you've shone a flashlight on a black shirt, and the shirt got lighter. I'm with you. No material is a perfect black - there will always be a certain amount of fade in the fabric, imperfection in the ink, general lint or dog hair particles, etc. And to that extent, yes, a small amount of color could be reflected off a black shirt... But no amount of that is enough to make a piece of fabric appear uniformly "gold", to photoshop. There's just no way.

For Gold to Appear White ---> Blown Out Background

Think of how freaking incredibly bright your colored light would have to be, for a black material to become solid frikkin gold. Not some lint, and not just a little bit ... like ... a solid color. You'd have to turn up the exposure to the point where the background would be completely blown out to pure white. Look up again at the photo - the background is not blown out.

Darker Than Black?

I'd like to point out something most of you have probably missed: There is actual black, already in this photo. Look at the middle of the dress, left side, just behind it. A piece of clothing sits on a rack, that is darker than the dresses "dark" bands. Look at it.

LOOK AT IT !!!!!!!!!!!

Proof of Gold
-More proof that the dress is White/Gold, and not Black/Blue: There is actual-black in the photo.

If those gold bands are actually black, how is it you calculate something in the photo can be "blacker than black"? And don't give me a CB4 reference. MOTED.

But but... the designer says Blue/Black!

Many people have also taken to claiming that the original designer/salesperson has in fact "confirmed" that the dress is black and blue. Others have given me links to amazon product pages where the dress is undeniably blue and black.

Well, if you believe this ... I have a quote for you:

Abraham Lincoln - Party on Dudes
-Not everything on the internet is true.

Guys ... not everything on the internet is true
  • Some people are lying or trolling
  • Others are mistaken
  • Yet more are impersonating legitimate sources of information

When I see an actual video, of that actual dress, showing us in no uncertain terms, how the dress can be put into or out of the light and appear both white/gold and blue/black, in that same original store, then and only then will I believe the dress is blue/black under normal lighting conditions.

But but but... the official store item!!!!

Yes, like I said: I've seen that too. I've definitely see that undeniably blue and black dress right here:, but can you please tell me in what universe you imagine those colors can appear gold? Remember - photoshop analysis says the dark park (black), is actually gold.

and lol bro, they have a version in many other colors as well:
(keeping in mind the sheer top part still doesn't match)

Also you may not have noticed, but the dress in that photo features a sheer top part, but the original dress is solid... so... not the same design.

Professor Snape Weighs In

Here's a tweet made by a faux twitter account, which shows how easily our eyes can be tricked by making the original photo brighter or darker:

What else you got???

In Conclusion

My guess is this entire thing is yet another PR stunt that we've all fallen for, which will cause sales of this dress and the designer's career to skyrocket through the roof.

And if you still think the dress is blue and black......


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Mike Peralta is an independent musician and you should follow him on Twitter (@MikePeralta) and Instagram (@MikePeraltaMusic), then subscribe to his blog just a bit below this text!
Current avatar photo by Heinz von Bockelmann (CC by 2.0, modified by Mike Peralta)

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Monday, March 2nd, 2015, 4:07am
There's several versions of the dress that they post to different groups. Nobody is actually confused what colour it is when they see the same dress. Its a marketing gig to get people talking
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